The ABJASS strike has been called off with new talks underway between the government and the group who vowed to shut down the city of Delhi with thousands of protesters if their voice was not heard and action taken. This alleviates some of my tension as I face my first work day in India and brace for the grey pollution that I can taste sitting inside. Yum.
The ethnic Jat group was campaigning for quotas for Jats in state government jobs and educational institutions. It’s all about good jobs, diversity, representation and being treated equally all over the world and protests do work. The U.S. is finding that out too.
After a long nap and on/off bouts of sleep overnight, I am up watching the local neighborhood outside my hotel wake up. While I am in a gated compound, the hotel is adjacent to a desolate urban scene with trains rumbling by and hard dirt spaces filled with street carts, homeless camps and construction materials. I see men walking by and students in uniform making their way to school. The cars are small and white with the 3 wheel Tuk Tuk carts everywhere and scooters/bikes weaving in, out and between lanes. General chaos with loose rules of the road by the look of it from my fifth floor perch.
Though it is going to hot here today-close to 100 degrees-the men I see walking by are wearing long pants and long sleeve shirts. No casual shorts and flip flops here despite the heat. Carts are being set up again on the side of the roads to provide wares and food. Hard life indeed.
Where are the women? Are they home with children? At brunch yesterday with my male boss and female co-worker, the host of the restaurant at the hotel came to our table but only spoke to the male in the group. “Get used to it” was the comment from my boss as we commented on the snub. I’m wondering if this discrimination will be prevalent at work today. But, hey, they had a clown for the kids at the brunch and he was open to a photo op with a female so perhaps all will be okay. Here’s hoping!